An Exclusive Interview With Bulgarian Power Metallers Krossfire!

Seventeen years… and counting. This was the birth of Krossfire. The band was formed in 2001 from George Driev (bass), George Kushev (guitar) and Spas Markov (drums). Later joined Dimo Petkov (vocals) and Petar Boshnakov (keyboards). Various clubs performances in Bulgaria follow and live performances in clubs and bike festivals. Great fan base – mostly friends. They are everywhere, where five have appeared and strongly support them.

Between October ’10 and March’11, Krossfire recorded their debut album “Learning To Fly” in “F.1Sound Studio” in Bulgaria and then mastered the material in “Master Vargas Studio” in New York, USA. At the end of the year, Krossfire signed a deal with German label “Pure Steel Records”. The album was released worldwide via the label on 27th of January 2012. A lot of excellent reviews appeared in the international press and online websites.

Krossfire can pride themselves in having come up with a solid debut album. If you like stomping power metal from the second last decade and also a predilection for playfulness, you probably should invest some of your time into Learning To Fly. The vocals are of course the standout feature and help that distinguish Krossfire from other genre bands.

Today we’d like to bring to your attention this interview with Krossfire! We caught the band at Varna Mega Rock Festival (Bulgaria). Thanks to our lovely reporter Viktoriya Mancheva and to Mr. Steve Smith – photographer. The following interview is taken exclusively for Rock Arena. Enjoy it!

♦INTERVIEW♦

– Hello, Guys and welcome to Rock Arena! Dimo, a while ago, you said that your dream was to be on the same stage as the amazing Kamelot… Be careful what you wish for…How do you feel now?

♦Dimo Petkov: Actually, I was thinking about that same thing a few days ago and that this is indeed my dream come true. So one down! (laughing) Having Kamelot next to the stage listening to us was just amazing. We don’t have words to describe the feeling! I do have one more and it is to be on the same stage with Iron Maiden and OK, we haven’t played on the same stage yet but they DID come to Plovdiv (Plovdiv is Krossfire’s city) this year…

– You guys founded Krossfire in 2001 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. You’ve had many club and festival gigs, and in 2011 you released your debut album but why did it take such a long time for ‘Learning To Fly’ to fly out of the nest?

♦Dimo Petkov: Well, we were learning to fly back then… This was what was happening – we were learning to play, to sing, to fly… Back in 2001, Spas Markov – our drummer, Georgi Driev – our bass player and Georgi Kushev – our lead guitar founded Krossfire. All of us were learning, it took a while but we were not in a hurry. We took our time but we wanted to make sure we were 100% ready. And in 2011 we did our first album.

♦Georgi Kushev: It wasn’t intentional. We didn’t plan to make an album in ten years time. But it felt natural to do it after a while… Some of our band members changed and when we felt comfortable with the line-up and with what we were doing we went for it.

♦Dimo Petkov: Actually, we’ve had only two changes in our line-up for the fourteen years we’ve been together.

– Let’s bring you now to your second album ‘Shades Of Darkness’, released in 2016. It sounds like this album is a bit on the other side, a bit apocalyptic. On one hand, you had ‘Learning to fly’- optimistic and then this dark title… what is the back story?

♦Georgi Kushev: Yeah well, we are not angry and dark at all (all laughing). You know, making music is almost like making a movie. You just want to present a story, and this time we wanted to tell this kind of story… It was more about the inner struggle. When somebody struggles with something in their life. They want to break through and reach the light. You can’t have the good without the bad. You need to be able to feel the difference, to be able to compare.

♦Dimo Petkov: Bad things do happen all the time and somehow people tend to ignore this and always try to look at the bright side. We don’t want to say that it’s always dark and you shouldn’t look at the positive side of things. But sometimes someone has to talk about the not so pleasant in life. This is as we call it jokingly among us, ‘The Dark album’.

– Any ideas on the next story to tell? A new album?

♦Dimo Petkov: We will start to work soon on a new album. We don’t want to rush. It takes what it takes. Maybe after all of our gigs this year…

– Great! We shall be looking forward to it whenever you guys are ready. Let’s talk about your Balkan Stars Project, how everything started?

♦Dimo Petkov: The idea about this project came from our manager… He said one day ‘You guys know each other with Scarlet Aura(Romania) and Alogia(Serbia) very well. You have performed together many times. You are good friends.. so why don’t you do one song together’. We found the idea appealing and contacted the guys from Scarlet Aura and Alogia. They all said ‘Yes’. Petar, our keyboard player wrote the music, I wrote the lyrics and this is how the ‘New Horizons’ was born.

We recorded the song in April this year in Serbia at the Alogia’s studio, Paradox, with Srdjan Brankovic (Alogia). We did it for two days. And here we are! We have our new baby! Scarlet Aura was amazing too. Our song came out really good. The whole idea behind New Horizons was to bring a notion of bond and unity. To do what we want, have fun and do it really well!

 

– In 2016 you did your first video ‘One More Time’. Tell us about it…

♦Dimo Petkov: Petar did the music, I did the lyrics. Many of our friends helped to do the video. We did it around Assenovgrad at a winery there with the director Georgy Avramov who is a good friend of ours. Many thanks and a big credit to him for the amazing job! The video came out really well and we are very proud of it.

– Your song ‘Touch Of Destiny’ was included as part a compilation done by the Heavy Magazine in Germany, how did this happen?

♦Dimo Petkov: Oh, yes! That was a while ago now. Our friend Stefan from Germany wrote to us. He was a journalist who was writing for media like Metal Hammer and other famous magazines in the music industry. Stefan wrote to us saying that he really liked our music and wanted to have a CD.

We were very pleased and replied that would love that. There was, however, a tiny problem, we didn’t have a CD, we only had two songs at the time. So we recorded a demo CD and sent it to him. After he got our demo he came to Bulgaria for a visit and we met in Sofia…and the rest is history. The whole compilation was played over and over as a background music at the Bang Your Head Festival 2009 and many people were listening to it and liked it.

– You guys seem to have a lot of connections with Germany?

♦Dimo Petkov: Yes, indeed! We signed a contract with PURE STEEL RECORDS back in 2011 for eight years for three albums.

Krossfire was part of Hills of Rock 2017. You played along 32 bands and likes of Epica, Evanescence, Three Days Grace… How did it feel to be part of such a big festival?

♦Dimo Petkov: The organisation of the Hills of Rock festival was very very good. Great that in Bulgaria we get to organize such events with so many big names. This year we had Iron Maiden! I was there front of the stage. Not on the stage unfortunately but the still amazing experience!

– How does it feel to be part of the Varna Mega Rock now?

♦Dimo Petkov: Very excited to be here and look forward to a weekend of great music! As I said it is fantastic that we have organizations which bring on our soil all these fantastic bands. We have friends! They come and support us wherever we go. We have friends all over Bulgaria. We also perform elsewhere in Europe and have met some really nice people – Austria, Poland, Greece. It’s great to feel among friends and perform for them.

– You guys had also two back vocalists on stage, are they part of Krossfire too?

♦Dimo Petkov: The two ladies are very good friends of the band and they are helping us a lot with some of our performances. 

– What next for Krossfire this year? Are we going to see you in London soon?

♦Dimo Petkov: Well, we are open … open to suggestions? (all smiling) You know where to find us! In general, it’s very difficult to organise concerts out of Bulgaria. But we are very happy and do get invitations from other European countries. This year we are going to visit Poland again. It’s our third time there…Great people and loads of fun!

– Thank you very much for being with us and answering our questions! Any final words for the fans of heavy music?

♦Krossfire: Keep on Rockin! Keep the flame of music inside your heart and enjoy! Be yourself and never give up. The sky is the limit! \m/

More information at:
www.facebook.com/krossfirebg/

Editor: Toni Rock
Reporter: Viktoriya Mancheva
Photographer: Steve Smith